EHS Robotics shares love of robotics


Myles Allred

The Bosons demonstrate their robot at Eureka Elementary Stem Night, Nov. 19.

Along with tackling this year’s FIRST Tech Challenge challenge, SKYSTONE, Eureka’s robotics teams, the state-qualifying Quarks and the Bosons, along with the Mesons, are working to spread robotics with others. 

“This year what we’re trying to do is make a bigger community impact,” Atharva Bhagwat (12) said. “In previous years, we haven’t really had much experience being with teams outside of our school or reaching out to the community. Along with robotics itself, we’re trying to go to local schools and spread robotics and teach them about STEM.”

Besides working on projects of their own, the teams introduce robotics to younger students.

“We partner with the St.Louis Student Robotics Association,” Bhagwat said. “They have some kits that we use to help the students learn about robotics. We go to local elementary schools to help work with them on their STEM programs and give presentations on robotics and explain how they can get involved.”

“Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been interested in [Robotics], so I was always working on it with my dad, building some small solar car kits,” Bhagwat said.

Through these types of outreach programs, along with increasing popularity and funding, children are getting the opportunity to start in STEM earlier.

“Kids can learn better from people that are closer to being their peers,” Bill Edwards, Eureka Robotics Sponsor, said. “We’re taught as teachers to have students do peer reviews and reteach each other. I think the little kids look up to the older kids, and when an older kid is able to explain something, they really take it to heart, they have their full attention. So for the older students to be able to get someone whose attention span and time management skills are not very developed yet, to get their full attention, is a big big deal.” 

In a world in which STEM is has become more and more pivotal, with an almost 10 percent growth in STEM related occupations over the next 10 years projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,  providing these opportunities at a younger age puts students ahead of the game. 

“The whole program of robotics isn’t necessarily just focused on building the robot itself, and instead just hardcore driving home the STEM skills,” Bhagwat said. “I think all the skills involved are pretty big skills in today’s world. It’s been nice to see what they have, and if I can help them along the way, I think it’s awesome to be a part of it.”

Not only do these programs impact the younger students, they can be beneficial for the older students as well. 

“It’s made a big impact on my life,” Bhagwat said. “I moved here the beginning of my sophomore year, I joined, and I was able to build my friend group around that. It’s been cool to see the programs and resources the students have to learn more about STEM and robotics and really get invested into the things they are passionate about, rather than having to wait until a lot later to get into what they like. I think it’s just a really fun time for all of us.”

The students of robotics are not only learning valuable skills themselves, building connections, and having fun, they are also using their experience and talents to give others these same opportunities.